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Titus in 2010
|Born||Christopher Todd Titus
October 1, 1964
Castro Valley, California, U.S.
Christopher Todd Titus (born October 1, 1964) is an American comedian and actor. He grew up in Newark, California. Titus came to national attention with the eponymous FOX show Titus, of which he was the star, executive producer and co-creator. Time called the show "brutal, hilarious and audacious", while Newsday called him "TV's most original comic voice since Seinfeld". He is also a stand-up comedian whose act revolves around his dysfunctional family and shocking life experiences.
Titus was born in Castro Valley, California, to Ken and Juanita C. (née Holmes) Titus. His parents divorced when he was a young child, and he was raised largely by his father, Ken, who had several relationships during his upbringing that provide comedic material for his routines. His mother suffered from manic-depression and schizophrenia as well as alcoholism, and is also source material for his dialogues. She spent time in and out of mental hospitals. At the age of four, he was taken away from his father and given to his grandparents on his mother's side. His father planned to kidnap him back and inadvertently told a man about his plans who turned out to be a local district attorney. Rather than have him arrested, the attorney gave him legal tactics he could use to get his son back which he used and eventually regained custody of Christopher. When Christopher was 12, he ran away from his father to live with his mother, during which he lived in her garage, but he shortly moved back with his father.
According to Titus in Norman Rockwell is Bleeding, Juanita was acquitted of murder in 1986 after killing her second husband who beat her when he came home to find that she wasn't done cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Eight years later, Juanita committed suicide after marrying another abusive man and being sent to court-ordered therapy for hurling a Duraflame log through the window of a Missouri sheriff's office. This resulted in Titus having a nervous breakdown on his flight a week after her funeral. His father, Ken Titus, died in 2001 of cardiac arrest. Chris Titus dedicated his entire Norman Rockwell is Bleeding special and an episode of his show Titus ("The Pendulum," where Christopher is in a coma following a racecar crash and Ken [played by Stacy Keach] narrated the episode, "Christopher's Neutral Space") to his late father. Titus would claim that although his father "never missed a beer in his life, or a joint, or a party, or a chance to get laid," he also "never missed a day of work, or a house payment, or a car payment. I never went hungry although he did a couple times so I wouldn't".
Titus had problems with alcohol and drugs during adolescence until one day, while intoxicated, he fell into a bonfire at a beach party. In the morning, his friends took him to the hospital, where the doctor told him he would have died if he had inhaled the deadly hot smoke inside of the bonfire. He has called this moment his "epiphany" and began to turn his life around and get into comedy.
Titus jokes about darkly comedic oddities such as custody battles, mental illness, family suicides, heart attacks, domestic abuse, and the relationship with his judgmental, often cruel father. "I think our collective psychosis is hilarious. With the world moving as fast as it is, if we weren't dysfunctional, we couldn't function", says Titus. He follows an edgy, confrontational format.
After years of experimentation with dark and personal storytelling, he debuted his one-man show, Norman Rockwell is Bleeding, at the Hudson Theater in Los Angeles in 2004. The performance was well received. Already a standout at the 1996, 1997 and 1999 Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, in 2000 Christopher brought his act to the Festival for a sold-out run at the Centaur Theatre. Norman Rockwell is Bleeding talks mainly about his life as a child, his parents, and his relationships. Norman Rockwell is Bleeding was released on CD on July 22, 2008, and then DVD in November 2010.
His special, "The 5th Annual End of the World Tour", premiered on Comedy Central on Sunday, March 18, 2007, at 10:00 pm EDT and was later released as a 2-Disc CD set by Comedy Central Records. In this special Titus talked about life in America since 9/11, becoming a parent, his dad passing away, and scandals that had recent high press coverage.
Love is Evol deals with his divorce from Erin (renamed "Kate" in the special for legal reasons) whom he stated was turned into "a demon slithering from the fiery depths of Satan's anus" during the divorce proceedings, and the toll that abusive relationships take on people, among other things. In it, he talks about how his marriage to Erin fell apart, the ensuing divorce, his analysis of why people stay in bad relationships, his crisis of faith because of the divorce, meeting his new girlfriend's family, and dating again for the first time in two decades. It was recorded in October 2008 for Comedy Central and aired on February 14, 2009.
Titus' fourth stand up act is called Neverlution. He debuted it at the Montreal Comedy festival in 2010 to standing ovations. In it, Titus talks about bringing the country back to its former glory, the new generation, and politics. Comedy Central Records released a double CD of Neverlution on June 28, 2011, and the special aired on Comedy Central on July 3, 2011. The 105-minute Neverlution DVD was available for pre-order on August 3, 2011 and shipped on August 15, 2011. In a change from his earlier deals with distribution companies Titus got the rights to his special and will only distribute it through his website christophertitus.com. Titus believes that the web will make it so that artists can make the most with their art and support their fans better.
Titus' fifth stand up act is called The Voice in My Head. It was originally called Scarred for Life but was changed in November 2012 to Epic Fail until it was changed again to The Voice in My Head in January 2013. This special deals with the different levels of failure and success Titus has encountered throughout his lifetime, including his first job as a low-rent Darth Vader lookalike and up to how he got his TV show cancelled. It was filmed on January 26, 2013 at the Fresno Tower Theatre and was released for sale on his website on April 1, 2013, with 10% of the profit going towards The Insight Youth Project for homeless teens. Titus stated on Facebook that the reason The Voice in My Head will only be available through his website is because he was tired of the way Comedy Central would shorten his act from an hour and 40 minutes to 40 minutes for television airing. On June 5, 2013 Titus revealed on his podcast that Comedy Central has paid for the rights to air The Voice in My Head, he also stated that the terms of this deal would mean that he would have to quit offering the special through his website, after June 9, 2013. The Voice in My Head aired on October 5, 2013 on Comedy Central.
Titus' sixth act is called Angry Pursuit of Happiness. His special Angry Pursuit of Happiness was filmed on September 27, 2014 in Santa Barbara, CA, and was put on sale on his website on December 5, 2014.
Titus' seventh special, which began touring immediately after Angry Pursuit of Happiness wrapped up its tour, is called Born with a Defect. In it, he talks about more of the insanity from his own childhood, some of the insane things he's had to deal with from his own kids, and satirical takes on some of the clichés surrounding the raising of children. He specifically says of the special near its start, "If you're a parent, tonight's show is therapy. If you're not a parent, tonight's show is ninety minutes of birth control."
Christopher Titus had his own sitcom, Titus, which aired on the FOX Network from 2000 to 2002. It was an adaptation of his stories from Norman Rockwell is Bleeding and, despite the censors requesting Titus tone down the subject matter, was met with great critical acclaim[by whom?]. The show ended up getting canceled in 2002 after executives told Titus that they wanted the new season to feature Erin and Titus breaking up. Titus, who bases all of his comedy on reality, objected since he and then-wife Erin Carden were together at the time and ended up fired. Ironically, Titus would later divorce Carden on June 6, 2006.
Titus' stand-up television appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Comedy Central's Premium Blend. He has also hosted Fox's Good Day Live, VH1's Dashboard Dreams and Comedy Central's USO Comedy Tour.
His television guest appearances include UPN's Twilight Zone, CBS's Yes, Dear, Fox's 21 Jump Street, as Damon in Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (1998 "Mysterious Animals"), NBC's Jenny, and ABC's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Rizzoli and Isles Season 5 Episode 15 His film credits include co-starring roles in Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Scar, and Remarkable Power. He has been a frequent guest on The Tonight Show, Politically Incorrect and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Titus received a Writer's Guild nomination for his work on Titus, and the show received an Emmy nomination. In 2004, "Norman Rockwell is Bleeding" became his first televised special, premiering on Showtime.
After Titus was cancelled, Titus starred in a futuristic one-hour pilot for NBC called Future Tense. The series was not picked up by NBC. He has had writing/producing deals with NBC, Sony, and Showtime. He recently[when?] shot Special Unit, a pilot he created for Comedy Central. Titus described the show as The Shield, with midgets and handicapped actors.
Titus appeared on the show Big Shots, which premiered on ABC September 27, 2007. The filming was interrupted by the 2007–2008 Writers' Guild of America strike and has since been cancelled. Titus played a supporting role in a 2012 comedy film about New Jersey soccer moms starring Janeane Garofalo and entitled Bad Parents. He has recently become the host of the new show Pawnography, a spin-off of Pawn Stars. The show first aired on July 10, 2014.
Since January 28, 2011, he has been airing a podcast from "The Combustion Lounge". His sidekicks on the show are his wife, Bombshell Rae (Rachel Bradley), and Stuntman Tommy, an old friend of Titus, who also did stunt work on the TV show Titus. The show airs once a week and, after some early sound problems, has become consistent. Within the first four months it broke the top ten podcasts on iTunes. The show usually starts with a prerecorded monologue by Titus in form of a comedic rant called "The Armageddon Update", which serves as an introduction into the topic of the day. The official motto of the show is "Never unbiased, always unbalanced", topics usually include news at the time of airing like the predicted rapture of May 21, 2011, plus personal topics. At the end of the October 4, 2012 podcast, it was announced that Stuntman Tommy would no longer be part of the podcast. Since then, "Nerdpunk" Jeff Fox, who also works on at least one podcast of the Adam Carolla Network, has joined most of the recent shows. In January 2014, Fox announced his retirement from the podcast, and that Willie "Jello" Johnson, Titus' half brother, would take over as the third voice on the show.
In June 2015, it was revealed on the podcast that Willie "Jello" Johnson was actually a character created and voiced by Titus for several years. Titus chose to end his portrayal of the character due to fears of Johnson being considered a racist caricature, as Titus, who is white, voiced Johnson with a stereotypical African-American dialect.
In an appearance on The Adam Carolla Show, on June 7, 2011, Titus sparked outrage by saying that if Sarah Palin were elected president, he would "hang out on the grassy knoll all the time, just loaded and ready." He later apologized on Facebook to Palin's family, asking people to "stop the death threats." However, in his apology, he managed to take a few more shots at Palin, opining that "America has set a low bar when accepting a possible leader."
Titus married his first wife Erin Carden on April 17, 1991. Their daughter, Kennie Marie Titus (named after his late father Ken) was born August 25, 2001. Three years later their son Jett Evan Titus was born on May 8, 2004. Titus filed for divorce on June 6, 2006, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce took five years to finalize (after Erin claimed that Titus abused her and her children, which was found to be false) and cost him roughly $2 million in alimony and legal fees.
Titus shares custody of his two children with his ex-wife. Although he has acknowledged that the divorce was "messy," it served as the primary inspiration for his comedy show, Love Is EVOL. Love is EVOL centers on how his marriage to Erin (named "Kate" for legal reasons) fell apart and analyzes why people find themselves in bad relationships. It also tells how a broken-hearted Titus found love again.
On August 11, 2013, Titus married his longtime girlfriend, Rachel "Bombshell Rae" Bradley; they currently live in Los Angeles, California.
Christopher Titus founded The Insight Youth Project, a non-profit organization that raises money for children from dysfunctional and abusive families.
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